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 News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 455 

Rasor sharpens its image

Rasor Road is where the rubber leaves the road -- literally.  Just beyond the half-way point from Southern California to Las Vegas, it’s where far too many travelers think they’ve found the ideal place to clean out their cars on the move.  Smack in the middle of nowhere, whole families join in the purge, rolling down their windows, scattering the remains of bags, burgers and rings from Barstow fast-food palaces along with reams of no-longer needed scraps of paper. (text continues below)

man rolls a discarded tire as woman in ranger hat points to a location off-camera
Barstow archeologist Jim Shearer rolls an artifact at I-15 and Basin Rd. that he determined not yet eligible as a historic property on the National Historic Register.  Dora McKeever, National Park Service, asks him to reconsider.

After miles of scorching hot pavement, the cars and semis themselves join in.  They shred and shed rubber -- stage a blow out or two -- and scatter it all to the winds of the traffic of the I-15.  No wonder many think this is the land nobody wants – the vast wasteland on the way to someplace else – the perfect place for a landfill in motion.

"Not so," said 50 volunteers on National Public Lands Day.  Staff from the BLM, the Mojave National Preserve, the Rasor Road gas station, and from places far and wide – all gave up a September Saturday to help restore the defiled land.  They put up a 250-foot fence to stop trash from migrating from the roadway to the desert and open areas.  They collected 40 yards of trash along Rasor and Basin roads – access points to the Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area.

The volunteers placed signs to mark the boundary of the open area.  Other signs were placed near the boundary of the preserve warning that only street-legal vehicles are allowed.    Still another project replaced kiosk panels so that the public could easily see maps of riding areas and boundaries, as well as historical information and lists of rules.

Smack in the middle of nowhere on National Public Lands Day, 50 folks did care.

Man and woman stand by sign that announces, "road restricted to street legal vehicles only" 
John and Nicole Slapper place sign at the entrance of the Mohave National Preserve warning users of the Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area that only street-legal vehicles may proceed into the preserve.

group talks together
Dr. Glassley, contract biologist, brought an exhibit of desert wildlife for National Public Lands Day volunteers.

- David Briery, BLM California Desert District, 10/25/10.  Photos by Doris E. Long.

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 455

Last updated: 11-03-2010